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Joe Gardener & Me

By Paul James

Late last month, I flew to Atlanta to tape a television show with Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World on PBS. In addition to the show, Joe has a huge presence on the web, and his website,, is a treasure trove of excellent information. He also offers online gardening courses, cranks out a regular podcast, and is all over social media. So why did he invite me to be on his show?

Well according to Joe, one of the most frequent questions people ask him when he’s on the road is, “Where in the world is Paul James?” So to let people know that I’m not yet pushing up tulips, I agreed to appear on his program, which was shot over a two-day period at his five-acre property north of Atlanta.

Up to that point, I’d never spent much time with Joe, but I’ve admired his work for years. And I quickly discovered that he’s not only a very kind, generous, and gracious guy – he’s also the real deal. By that I mean he’s a gardener’s gardener (and an organic-gardening purist as well) with an impressive depth of knowledge. For that reason, it made me more than a little proud to hear him say that I had actually inspired him over the years.

I hadn’t taped a 30-minute program since I stopped doing Gardening by the Yard back in 2008, but it didn’t take me long to get up to speed. For one thing, Joe’s small but extremely talented and dedicated crew put me at ease in no time, and his gorgeous garden offered instant inspiration.

We talked at length about all sorts of topics – from gardening to my history with HGTV to my current endeavors – and I have to say I had a blast. That was the first time I’d ever been a guest on someone else’s show, which meant I didn’t have to wear all the hats I once did (writer, producer, director, host). All I had to do was talk, and for me that’s pretty darn easy.

Joe tells me the show will likely air sometime in September or October. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out what all Joe is up to by clicking these links.
The joe gardener Show Podcast

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63 responses to “Joe Gardener & Me”

  1. Patti Baisley says:

    You guys are a gardeners inspiration! Looking forward to seeing the show!

  2. Victoria says:

    What a nice testimonial to you! People all over want to know where you are and what you are now doing so you must have impressed many a "watcher" of your show. And, what fun it was to be on someone else’s show to speak and tell stories…fun, fun, fun!

  3. JW says:

    I love his shows. He truly has a knowledge of and passion for gardening. It’s great you two have teamed up. I’m looking forward to the show with both of you

  4. Cindy Lowrey says:

    I was so glad to hear about the show. I am a huge fan of both of you. I remember watching Gardening by the Yard every Saturday. I have really missed it. It is good to see that you are well. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for Joe’s show to air.

  5. Peg Mann says:

    Please do more programs like these. I miss them so much. There’s more gardeners from years back I’d like to see again also. Thanks!!!

    • Paul James says:

      I’ll try to convince Joe that we should do more shows now and then. Thanks!

  6. Jody says:

    You were my hero Mr. James. I did not miss your show when it was on. I loved your sense of humor and creativity. I miss. You! Good to know your well.

  7. CarolM says:

    This is great! Two of my favorite gardeners! I got re-interested in gardening because of Gardening by the Yard and I discovered Growing a Greener World a couple of years ago and enjoy all the different topics covered on the show! I enjoyed the podcast recently with you two together as well! Looking forward to the upcoming show!! Thanks for all you both do! You really keep me trying new things!

    • Paul James says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Carol. I’ll make sure Joe gets a chance to read it.

  8. Chris Wells says:

    I was a big fan of HGTV, back when there was a G in the line up! And you Paul James was one of my favorites! I learned so much about gardening from you and laughed along the way! I am glad you are well and doing what you want to be doing.
    One of your big fans in Texas!

    • Paul James says:

      Many thanks, Chris. Glad I could impart a bit of gardening wisdom, but it means more to me that I made you laugh.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Two of my favorites. I’m looking forward to seeing the show.

  10. Nancy Beadle says:

    You’ve really been missed, Paul!! So glad I’ll get to see you on the air with Joe in the fall. I’ve met him a couple of times and toured his garden with MGs. He really is as nice as you describe.

    • Paul James says:

      Actually, Nancy, I’ve met other TV types who off camera are complete jerks. But like I said in my post, Joe is the real deal.

  11. d says:

    Used to watch you all the time and learned so much from you! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and come back to TV!

    • Paul James says:

      Thanks. It’s humbling to know that I helped others become better gardeners.

  12. Looking forward to the show! I enjoyed the podcast with you and Joe. Really miss you on tv, and hope there is more to come. You and Joe are a great team, as both of you have a knack for sharing gardening expertise in a friendly format, coupled with great charisma that makes listening/watching you a joy as well as a wonderful learning opportunity.

  13. Jean says:

    Loved your shows….and miss being able to see you and your crazy sense of humor along with great gardening advice Maybe one day you will be back.

    • Paul James says:

      The bad news is I probably won’t do another show. The good news is I’m still crazy after all these years.

  14. Charlene Benedick says:

    WOW SO GREAT to hear from you. I look forward to seeing your episode. YOU are the reason I love gardening. Everything I know (if I know anything at all), I owe to you. Man, do I miss your show… My husband still laughs when I refer to you as, Paul James the Gardening God.

  15. Michelle C says:

    I was SO excited to see his post! We miss you! Can’t wait to see the show.

  16. JnB says:

    I sure do miss your shows Paul, it was one of those "we have to schedule Saturday morning so we don’t miss The Gardening Guy". However, I enjoy Growing A Greener World and watch often.

  17. Troy Weathers says:

    Paul, you were so fun to watch. My wife and I watched your show religiously! Loved your humorous approach to teaching. We applied your methods then and still do today. Joe is my new go to guy. He is awesome and we love his method of teaching as well. Can’t wait to see the show when it airs. I share your love of cooking and would love to attend one of your dinners some day. If you ever find yourself in Minnesota, dinner is on me! Many blessings to you and your family family!

    • Paul James says:

      Thanks, Troy. I’ve got a brother who lives on a lake in Emily, MN, so you never know!

  18. Peggy Labonte says:

    I miss seeing you on TV. I regularly watch your old shows on UTube. So nice to read this blog. I could even image your voice as I read it. A Big Fan. Peggy

  19. Michelle says:

    Paul James knowledge and humor showed me that gardening was more than just a pastime for old folks…course now I am a hot senior like Paul.

    • Paul James says:

      Ha! I am indeed a senior these days, but hot? I don’t think so, except maybe after I’ve mowed the lawn in summer! Thanks, Michelle.

  20. George Duncan says:

    We are all looking forward to this show. I knew you were still around from your videos at Southwood. I googled you a few months back lol. I get lots of info from Joe because he is close to me in Asheville area. I was hoping you would settle in Asheville, then you and Joe could team up more often. Happy digging…..

  21. Donna DeFelice says:

    I am so looking forward to seeing the show. Must remember to program the DVR!
    Joe Lamp’l and Paul James, what a great team!

    • Paul James says:

      When I started people would program their VHS recorders! We’ve come a long way! Thanks, Donna.

  22. Peggy Warnez says:

    I wish you would have a show again, always enjoyed watching.

  23. Tom peters says:

    My initial inspiration and mentor as a Gardner was a man named Frank whom I aided as a caretaker on a country estate in Connecticut. My uncle introduced me and got me a job with him in the early 1980s. My uncle worked with him in the 1940s. Franks history had dated back to the large estates on Long Island back in the 1920s. My uncle told me to listen to Frank and learn because you’ll never find a better teacher. I did listen and became a pretty fair gardener. Then I came across a tv show in the 1990s the inspired and educated me to all new heights. And thus I gained another mentor and teacher. That was you Paul and I could never convey my appreciation adequately for all you brought to my gardening life. Thank you Paul!!!!

    • Paul James says:

      I’m speechless, Tom. And deeply moved. What a great story. Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

  24. Lani Phillips says:

    We have been missing you and you hilarious joking as well as your incredibly informative shows. So glad you will be in the show fir us to watch in the Fall! Miss you Paul.

  25. Dolly Foster says:

    So happy to see you back on TV! I miss your show and I learned so much from you. I think Joe is a wonderful resource too! You are both true gentlemen! Can’t wait to watch this episode.

  26. Josette says:

    I, like so many others, used to watch you on HGTV. When you left, I quite watching HGTV. All they had after you is building outdoor kitchens or gazebos and putting in a few plants around it. Your show talked about the plants and showed them and told about them – I have not found a show like yours since. I like Joe a lot, but his show isn’t like yours was and yours was my all time favorite – it was a real plant show. There is no Garden in HGTV anymore. I complained for years asking them to bring you back, as did other viewers. I watch a few gardening???? shows, but none even begin to compare to Gardening By The Yard. Wish you would have another show like that. Possible? Thanks for making me care about gardening. You were great.

    • Paul James says:

      Josette — how sweet of you to say such kind things. I doubt I’ll ever to another gardening show, but we’ll see what the future holds.

  27. Beth Lynch says:

    I am looking forward to this show. I enjoyed your podcast with Joe very much. You and Joe actually teach gardening and give great advice. It will be good to see you on the tube again.


  28. Paul James says:

    Love the comment, Shelia! Makes me hungry!

  29. Paul James says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I haven’t gotten any younger!

  30. Toni says:

    Loved watching your show and looked forward to the rebroadcasts because there was always something I missed or forgotten about. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the podcast with Joe Lamp’l. The two of you have been my go to answers for organic gardening. Thank you and miss your show. I look forward to your blog now.

  31. Elizabeth Watts says:

    Oh how I loved your show! My bestie and I since childhood, would always get on the phone and watch your show together. Oh and we would laugh, laugh laugh! I am now a master gardener and I run three gardens. I help to grow over a ton of food each year, for those in need. You helped inspire all that, in me! Is there any way one can purchase episodes of your series? I sure do miss you, Paul!

    • Paul James says:


      Your kind words made my day! Thanks so much. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase episodes of my show, but you can watch the last five years on Glad I made you laugh. And thanks for making the world a better place.

  32. Charlene Charlie Benedick says:

    Every Saturday morning I cleaned around “Gardening by the Yard”. I only took a break after I had sat down and watched the latest episode of Paul James, The Gardener God.” I referenced him so often, my family knew who Paul was! ❤️❤️❤️ Sure miss you Paul, I learned everything as a young gardener from you.

  33. Paul James says:

    Stay calm and garden.